Friday, September 28, 2012

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy – Breaking up Edition



Let’s cut to the chase. I broke up with Tech Boy on Tuesday. It was pretty much the talk of therapy.

Right now. I feel okay. I’m not sure why. One of the things with self-awareness is you don’t necessarily stop over-thinking  you just try to do it more productively. So what I need to do right now, is take into consideration how I've felt in the past, what I've done in the past, how I've reacted in the past… and try not to do that again!

It’s only been a few days.  Every time I broke up with Boring-Ex it took me about a week every time I broke up with him to really hit the wall and go into full melt down and panic mode.  Which I found pretty ironic because I really didn't like him very much when we were together.  I remember being really un-enamored with him for a long time before I actually made the move to end it. There was no one thing, no defining moment, just a string of everyday experiences that I wasn't stimulated in any way at all. With Tech Boy things were fun, but there’s always been an aspect of disconnect. Every conversation we have is an experience in different life ideologies. We’re both very good at listening and accepting that the other person has a different perspective, but understanding? I've never felt like he understands me as a person, who I am. I usually feel this way with people, especially at first, but it’s been a y ear now. Sometimes I think this is just a product of my disordered thinking, that’s it’s just me and my disconnect, but I was talking to Doc the other day and he could see it. Whenever we’d talk about things, debate issues, get impassioned about something important, or just geek out… Doc said it was really pretty obvious that he wasn't engaged and just didn't get. I understand not being moved by the same issues, but with him, he doesn't understand getting moved at all. Why bother? What difference will it really make? It makes me crazy because it is how he lives. Maybe it’s product of my BPD, or maybe it’s a product of who I am, because my father is the same way; I like to be stirred. I need a certain level of passion in my life. I certain level of intensity. I like to be moved by things. (The right things! Not dysfunctional abusive things!).

I don’t like the way my brain functions sometimes. I don’t like all the maladaptive coping mechanisms I've developed throughout my life. I don’t like the way I've reacted to and treated people in my past. I don’t like the paralyzing depression and gut wrenching anxiety. These things are a part of me, but they’re not all of me, and they don’t  have to define or confine me. I do really like who I am as a person. Which is why I’m working so hard to make changes in my behavior and form new pathways in how my brain functions.

It’s really difficult to do that with someone that actively avoids any aspect of stress and uncomfortableness. The thing with doing what I am working to do, is that it can get pretty ugly. I have to face myself, who I was, and who I’m becoming. It’s stressful, it’s hard, but ultimately the outcome will hopefully be beautiful.

Just trying to talk to Tech Boy about some of my concerns and my disconnect, has been its own struggle. We sat down on Sunday. I've barely seen him the last couple months. I explained to him (and I’ve this before) how it’s difficult for me to hold onto my connection with him when I barely see him. That when there’s a significant amount of time passing in between it’s like I have to start over every time.
 
He understands the emotional disconnect. He clearly has his own emotional detachment problems that he doesn’t realize/care/feel the need(?) to work on.  I’m trying so hard to battle all these things, but being with someone that actively avoids all of those things is just not what I need.

Automatic geek cred if you get this. 
Yes, he flat out told me he’d rather avoid anything heavy or emotional if he can. After our last conversation where he had that “epiphany” that he should be more supportive and not try to fix things, he said it would be good to do some inward focusing. Then what he did was drop off the map for a week and a half. He’d only talk to me if I texted him, and not about anything significant. I asked him about this and he told me he thought we were taking time to ourselves for a bit. What? He never said that. He said me being stressed out was stressing him out, so he took sometime to just get things done that he’d been needing to do and honestly he’d like to keep a nice de-stressed state. So he figured he’d just give me time to settle in and then we could get back to the fun stuff. < --- I’m sorry, but this is yet another sign of emotional immaturity that I’ve seen from him. I get that it’s not fun having your girlfriend stressed out, but he hasn’t even been around to see me stressed out. He says he wants to be supportive, and then disappears. In the past he’s told me I take on too much and I should ask for help, so I ask him for help, he says he totally will, but then he takes care of his priorities* (detailing his truck, skim boarding at the beach, playing basketball) first before showing up after I finished everything on my own. I rarely, rarely ask for help. I hate asking for help. I’m very conscious about not being clingy or demanding. But yanno what, sometimes I think I should be because if I’m not, I don’t get to be a priority.

And I think that’s one of the things. I’ve never really felt like I’m a priority to him.

Just getting him to talk about my concerns was hard. I almost broke up with him before talking to him because when I would ask if we could sit down and talk he would respond with, “Yeah I suppose.” Which makes me think he doesn’t care, so I ask and he says, “I’ve never been good at talking out problems. I actually usually try to avoid them. It makes me uncomfortable.” I get it. I do. This isn’t fun for me either, but when you’re in a relationship you can’t just avoid problems and hope they go away.

Here’s something Therapist wants me to keep in mind: When he says things like that I feel like he doesn’t care. Or more like, if it mattered to him, he would care enough to do it. Not just do it, want to do it. If it was important he would want to. If I were important enough he would want to.

Therapist kept reminding me that this is a projection of my thoughts onto him. He himself, doesn’t think about it like that. First of all, he doesn’t seem emotionally experienced enough to understand what to do. All he knows is something is uncomfortable and he doesn’t want to be uncomfortable. That’s the base instinct.  It’s not that I’m not important, but that he is in a different place of emotional development and doesn’t know what to do or how to react.  That’s his stuff. That’s not my stuff. Not my failing.

People have their own stuff, that isn’t connected to us at all, even if it colors how they interact with us.
I felt like I spent a lot of therapy justifying why I broke up with him. In the end we really are just such different people and what we need in a relationship (or not) is very, very different right now. He’s not right for me. I’m definitely  not right for him.

With Boring-Ex (hell, with most of my exes) I had this need, this sense of urgency to not be alone. I felt so alone, all my life, it was my biggest fear (also, I was living with an abusive ex-boyfriend and needed to feel some somewhere, anywhere) … that I would never find someone that would love me. I was so afraid of this that instead of letting things fit how they were going to fit (together or not), I needed to make them fit. Make them work. If they didn’t work it was one more proof that I couldn’t be loved.

Right now, I don’t feel like I’m in a place where I need someone. I’ve been in places like this before, but it was more a sense of keeping people out. I’m better off on my own. If people can’t get close to me, they can’t hurt me, they can’t leave. If I keep people out, they can’t leave. Years and years and years I subscribed to that theory. I was intensely self-isolated, intensely angry, intensely lonely, and completely miserable.

I’m in a place where I want to work on me. And I want to find something that fits on their own, without me having to always make everything fit. Without me having to delude myself or convince myself that something is working or okay. I want something different for me, better for me, inside, and outside of me.
I also don’t feel completely alone anymore, and I don’t feel isolated. I have some very close, very good friends that love me and care about me. Knowing that I have them, which I haven’t in the past, really helps. Growing up I had a lot of, um, disingenuous friends that I was extremely aware could not be trusted or relied on, in college I was on my own (until my sister moved in!), with my Evil-Ex I was alienated from everyone…. xRoommate was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. She respected my space and that I had a lot to heal from, but she was also present and caring. It took a long time for me to internalize a lasting connection with her, I was honestly not sure it was possible (even though I really wanted to), but I guess that’s why new things are scary. You can’t be completely sure they’ll work.

I don’t know. I’ve been seeing this whole relationship with Tech Boy going downhill for a while. Ever since the Mayhem Tour weekend it’s just been so incredibly difficult for me to reconnect, especially with him always being absent, physically and emotionally.  I feel like I was prepared for it in my own way, just keeping our eyes open and not trying to force it. That’s not to say this was easy. It was still scary and my brain was definitely freaking out at times. I also cried through most of our conversations, but idk, it’s a life change, we’ve been together for a year now, so even though I was ready for it, and made the decision, it was still hard.

Especially since I don’t hate him. Check it out with the no splitting, no black and white, not evil, not even all bad… just a guy that’s not right for me/me for him. I was really sad through a lot of our conversations, and there were times I wanted to just scream in frustration, but I always tried to be mindful. Mindful of my own reactions, and mindful of how I was interacting with him. I know I brought up things that made him uncomfortable but I tried really hard to not be hurtful and remain open to the things he had to say. At the end of it, we called it quits, he said he loves me as a person but acknowledge that we just need different things. All in all, I think it went as well as I could expect it to.

I’m still trying to remain mindful of myself though. I know how I react isn’t always expected or predictable, even to me, so I’m watching out.

Therapy has helped me out a lot. Having issues that I was freaked out about and being able to talk it through with Therapist before I freaked out in reality, was immeasurably helpful. Not gonna lie, my meds have helped a lot too. I’ve been having some pretty bad anxiety lately, but I haven’t felt out of control. I’m getting there.  


11 comments:

  1. Getting there is good, I'm new-ish to your blog, but sounds like you've been dealt some struggles in the past and are making yourself proud with the things you're doing and how you're handling them. I'm glad to hear it :) - Hang in there

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    1. ::laughs:: Some struggles, is, putting it lightly haha. I've been in active recovery for almost two years but yeah, I've been making some really healthy changes. My life feels like it's moving in a better direction.

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  2. I know its hard but you really deserve to be proud of yourself. You handled the situation very well and for the right reasons. It is inspiring!

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    1. ::smiles:: Thanks Sarah. That means a lot. I was trying so hard, b/c there were seriously some times I just wanted to throttle him or scream that he obviously didn't care, but stepping back, it was also painfully clear that he just had no idea what to do, and he has his own emotional connectivity problems.

      Break ups suck, but if it had to happen I'm glad it happened the way it did.

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    2. I wish I had handled my last "relationship" and subsequent breakup with such grace and dignity. Maybe its more frustrating when the guy is supposed to be a grownup... expected more of a 40 year old...

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  3. Keep moving forwards Haven. You are such a brave woman! I was really interested in your note on disconnecting....... I have done this all of my life. If I am not in week to week contact with someone - no matter who the person is I find it very hard to re-connect and feel like I am having to start all over again. Tough! Hope you are O.K sweetheart!xo

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    1. That disconnect is so hard. I really think it's something that is just so hard for people to grasp and it's a driving factor in why we panic.

      I'm doing pretty okay thus far. Thanks!

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  4. Hi Haven,
    Many thanks for sharing this moment with us. Your decision was very brave and I'd like to have the same courage as you with my various relationships. Making this kind of decision is really hard, especially when your significant other "can't" really understand how you feel. Same story here...
    Anyway, hang'in there !

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  5. All the best on your new beginning ... may things get better. Many believe in you, Haven, & that you have what it takes to fly upward.

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